When a storm approaches the Southern California coast, as is the case tonight, it’s a big deal!
Rain leads the news in SoCal just like snow does in the Northeast.
Every area has some sort of natural Achilles heel. Ours is rain. Can’t live with it. Can’t live without it.
This is a semi-desert climate. We get our paltry rain in a very few large doses. The water is good for reducing fire danger and irrigation, but most of SoCal’s water comes from the Sierras, hundreds of miles away. Rain at my house isn’t quite as important as it seems.
The latest computer guidance says we can take around an inch of rain in an hour, up to three inches in six hours before we flood. Close call.
In the burn areas, places that had fires in the last year or two, it will take much less for canyon walls to fall. The scrubby growth that held everything together has burned away.
People in beautiful homes with spectacular views are usually OK, not always. Sometimes their houses fall. Other times something falls on their houses. They always say they’ll rebuild.
Irvine has a few large drainage channels carrying runoff to the sea. Always empty. That will change.
No snow for Santiago Peak–visible from the bedroom window. A quick estimate keeps the rain/snow line above 10,000 feet–higher than these mountains.
NERD ALERT — Feel free to skip the next paragraph.
In Connecticut I’d look for the 850mb 0C isotherm as a good rain/snow indicator. During this storm it will be close to 10C over me. These storms tend to be convective–so cellular. Rain amounts will vary greatly city-to-city.
Hopefully the storm’s mightest punch will be in the Sierras. If you start hearing of little mountain towns with a new feet of snow you’ll know we hit the jackpot!
Oh–people here can’t drive in rain. I’ll leave it there.